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Officials focus on educating youth about vaping dangers

COLUMBUS — Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today announced new initiatives to prevent and reduce youth vaping. This comes following recent warnings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about severe pulmonary illnesses reported following vaping.

State and local public health officials in Ohio have confirmed that 10 reports of severe pulmonary illness after vaping are likely due to vaping and are investigating an additional 14 reports of illness. Nationally in 33 states, CDC says that it is aware of more than 450 possible cases of severe pulmonary illness after vaping and at least five deaths.

ODH has been especially focused on educating youth about vaping dangers.

The department sent a letter to Ohio school districts encouraging them, in their school policies, to prohibit the use of vaping products and to warn school administrators, teachers, parents, and students about the dangers of vaping and where to get free help to quit. Several schools in the state have installed vaping detectors, making use of safety grants from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to cover the cost. Districts have created penalties ranging from suspension to expulsion for vaping offenses with students.